Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Socks Got Talent - New show to debut at Leicester Comedy Festival

Here it comes, the new show which sees the Scottish Falsetto Socks appear on a TV talent show, something which would surely never happen in real life.

Their last live show before lockdown was at Leicester Comedy Festival in Feb 2020, and now they return to their favourite comedy festival to debut their brand new show, currently titled The New Show.

The Socks have been appearing at Leicester Comedy Festival longer even than they've been at the Edinburgh Fringe. They played there in 2007, ahead of their Edinburgh debut, and have previewed every one of their new shows there ever since. They've even played Leicester on the years when they had no new Edinburgh show to preview, meaning they'd played 14 consecutive unbroken years at Leicester Comedy Festival, up to 2020. And now they're back.

And this show has a secret to it. The Socks recorded their appearance on a famous TV Talent show last week, on the stage of The London Palladium. They can't tell you how it went, but there may be some idea of the flavour of the event in this new show, in which the boys - enter A Talent Show!

Expect new songs, sketches and nonsense in an hour of material which Leicester will be seeing before the rest of the world - and maybe also for the last time. Yes, it's no secret that these preview shows involve the testing out of new material, which often means discovering that some ideas just aren't as good in front of a live audience as they seemed when you wrote them. Many Leicester productions of Socks shows have been wildly different from the version that ended up on stage in Edinburgh six months later, and then went on tour.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's New Show is at Kayal on Granby Street:

Fri Feb 11 - 8.30pm

Sat Feb 12 - 7pm

Sun Feb 13 - 2pm

Tickets on sale now!





Monday, 24 January 2022

"Former Beano & Marvel artist..." Scottish Pop book in the Sunday Post

 So, my Scottish Pop Colouring Book got a mention in the Sunday Post, thanks to freelance journalist Paul English, for whom many thanks.

That said, being a DC Thomson publication, they've been sure to sub-edit the headline to make it clear that I'm "former Beano artist" Kev Sutherland. And, as of Monday morning, it doesn't appear to have shifted any extra units. Still, no publicity is bad publicity, so let's see the contribution it makes. (My thanks to Adrian Thompson for this slightly more nicely worded version, which appears in the print edition):




Former Beano and Marvel artist creates colouring book of Scotland’s musical heroes


He has drawn comic strips for some of the biggest names in publishing but now a cartoonist has given a new meaning to the concept of pop art – by designing a colouring book featuring the brightest stars in the history of Scottish music.

The characters in artist Kev Sutherland’s latest work aren’t from the Marvel or DC Comics universe… they’re from Auchtermuchty, Dundee and Glasgow with Kev featuring Scots musical stars such as The Proclaimers, KT Tunstall, Deacon Blue, Lulu, Simple Minds and Altered Images in a colouring book.

He said: “I do colouring books around subjects that I love. And I love Scottish pop music.”

It’s a world away from drawing for the world’s leading comic publishers including Marvel, working on strips like Dr Strange.

The graphic artist appealed to fans online asking which Scottish bands and artists they’d like to colour.

Kev, 60, said: “I drew up a list of people I could think of and then asked people online to suggest the bands they thought I should include.

“In the end I was ashamed of the people I hadn’t thought of. I’ve done 20 already, and have a list to do more, because there’s a lot of interest.”

Kev has also worked on strips for Scots comic favourites The Beano and The Dandy

But the rise in popularity of colouring books for adults saw him branch out, creating the outlines for others to colour themselves.


A self portrait promo shot that I took for the Sunday Post article, which doesn't look like it got used.


Buy the books:


Top 20 David Bowie

Top 20 Scottish Pop

Top 20 Rom Coms

Top 20 80s Pop Superstars

Top 20 Christmas Movies

Queens Of Pop


Pop Star Colouring Annual with 50 images from 70s to now

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who, and graphic novels adapted from Shakespeare, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and TwitterHe is the host of the podcast Comic Cuts The Panel Show

Amazon Ads and how they work


This graph shows how much I spent on Amazon promotions since I started publishing these colouring books, against how many sales they produce. It doesn't look encouraging, does it?

Amount spent on ads £248, amount of book sold as a result £186. Result = misery, as I believe Mr Micawber might have put it. The results from the ads placed on the US (as opposed to UK) site is worse...

$131 spent on ads, $49 worth of books sold as a result. It really does seem that the books I'm selling may not be benefitting from the ads. Looking at the books I ran campaigns for, they were (in the UK) Rom Com, 60s, Punk, and Eurovision, and (in the US) Bowie, 60s, 70s, and the Kindle version of the 80s book. I didn't run campaigns anywhere for the 1980s Pop book or the Xmas movies books. And what do my sales since October 2021 (up to Jan 24 2022) look like..?

Amazon Sales Oct 21 - Jan 24 2022


1980s Pop - 107

Eurovision - 49 

1970s New - 40

2020s Pop - 34

1970s Old - 19

Pop Annual - 18

1990s Pop - 17

1960s Pop - 9

80s Superstars - 9

Bowie - 8

Punk - 5

Scottish Pop - 5

Xmas Movies - 3

Rom Com - 2


Which rather suggests the books sell for reasons other than the ad campaigns. Let us see if my frantic tweeting makes a difference, or the article about Scottish Pop in yesterday's Sunday Post, or the impending Eurovision semi finals and final, which I've lined up tweets to accompany. If those turn into sales, we might be working out a method of making these books worthwhile. If not, they may be something I can't get a handle on selling, that were fun to do but a bit of a distraction.

Onwards and upwards. Did I mention I'm drawing some actual proper comic strip right now?


Buy the books:


Top 20 David Bowie

Top 20 Scottish Pop

Top 20 Rom Coms

Top 20 80s Pop Superstars

Top 20 Christmas Movies

Queens Of Pop


Pop Star Colouring Annual with 50 images from 70s to now

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who, and graphic novels adapted from Shakespeare, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and TwitterHe is the host of the podcast Comic Cuts The Panel Show



Saturday, 22 January 2022

The Socks On Britain's Got Talent (part one)

When BGT themselves tweeted this photo, I figured it was okay to mention the fact that, on Friday (Jan 21st) the Socks recorded their appearance on Britain's Got Talent at the London Palladium.

I signed a Non Disclosure Agreement at the start, which doesn't restrict you much but, understandably, asks you not to disclose the result of your audition on social media, so I won't. I'll tell you all how it went when it airs, which probably won't be till April or May.


It's a long day, filming BGT. It started, in my case, with an 11am call time. This was an 8am call time for some, because there are two shows recorded in a day. The Socks were, I discovered as we went along, in the second show, which starts recording at about 6pm and goes on till about 10pm. So I drive to London, having pre-booked good cheap parking underneath the Hilton on Park Lane (£17 for the record, worth bearing in mind, and, er, that's as interesting as these notes are going to get) and made my way to the Marriott on Grosvenor Square, where most of the day's activities took place.

Having set up my sock set to one side of the room, I then waited behind it, hiding away from my fellow acts to ensure that only the Socks ever got filmed, and not me, for the rest of the day. Like all the movie stars will tell you, there's a lot of waiting involved in this sort of work. But, in various bursts of activity, the Socks filmed a chat with a German magician called Topas - getting in lots of fun ad-libs, including "Topas, that's the thing that runs along the side of a canal", which I bet never makes the edit; then a chat with a stand up called Stefano, who I think I MC'd for back in the Comedy Box days, which again got some good funny ad-libs in; then our face-on interview which, again, I thought included some good ad-libs. All in all I felt I'd got a lot of good comedy material on camera, and will keep fingers crossed that some of it makes it into the finished show. But, by golly, there was a lot of interesting and varied competition...


Yes, that would be Mary Poppins having an on-camera chat with two schoolboy dancers, as glimpsed from behind my set. This is the sort of thing the show's all about, and it'll be fun to see how our various moments in the spotlight pan out. I didn't take the opportunity to talk to many acts, because I wanted to keep the Socks anonymity, and also I'm wary of wearing out both my voice and my welcome by talking too much before a gig.

Wishing I'd brought the laptop and some proper work to do with me, my day of waiting and little bits of recording kept going from my arrival before 11am right up until sometime after 7.30 when I packed up the Socks set and we got ferried over to the London Palladium. There I set up the set backstage and prepared for my moment in front of the judges...

About which you'll hear in a few months time.



Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who, and graphic novels adapted from Shakespeare, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and TwitterHe is the host of the podcast Comic Cuts The Panel Show


Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Brand new colouring books for 2022


Brand new from Kev F & his house of ideas comes a whole raft of Pop Star Colouring Books - adult colouring for kids of all ages. The latest (above) is the Top 20 David Bowie Colouring Book. Like all Kev's books, it features brand new images, specially drawn for your colouring pleasure, and joins an exciting catalogue of novel titles...


Eurovision Pop Star Colouring Book - 33 and a third images of your favourite Eurovision stars, from Abba to Conchita, Netta to Lordi, even including Terry Wogan himself.



The Rom Com Colouring Book tackles movies, in a Top 20 rundown of all new images from the most popular romantic comedies of all time. From Bridget Jones's Diary to When Harry Met Sally, all drawn by Kev F for your colouring pleasure, the perfect Valentines Gift.



1960s Pop Star Colouring Book - a massive book of 45 images, featuring every top act of the psychedelic decade, from The Beatles to Zappa.


Punk & New Wave Colouring Book - 33 and a third images, accompanied by articles on every act, telling the while story of the 70s rock movement, from The Sex Pistol and The Clash to Plastic Bertrand and Blondie. All in perfect colourable line art.


1980s Pop Star Colouring Book - 40 images and articles featuring every top star of the decade, from Madonna to Wham, Adam Ant to Madness.


1970s Pop Star Colouring Book - a whopping 45 images and articles on all the top acts from the decade that fashion forgot. From Abba to Wings, The Carpenters to Status Quo.


The 1980s Pop Superstars Book presents a brand new Top 20 rundown of the most popular acts of the decade, in all new images. From Kylie to Whitney, Madonna to Michael Jackson.


Top 20 Christmas Movies colouring book presents a rundown of the best seasonal movies of all time, from It's A Wonderful Life to Scrooged, from Home Alone to Love, Actually. Order early for Christmas! 


Top 20 Scottish Pop Stars - a chart rundown of the best acts in Scottish pop history, from Altered Images to Wet Wet Wet, from The Bay City Rollers to The Proclaimers.

Plus there's also:

Something for every taste. And if there's not, why not let Kev F know what you'd like in the form of a colouring book, and if there's enough demand, maybe it'll be next? Tweet him here.


Buy the books:


Top 20 David Bowie

Top 20 Scottish Pop

Top 20 Rom Coms

Top 20 80s Pop Superstars

Top 20 Christmas Movies


Pop Star Colouring Annual with 50 images from 70s to now

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who, and graphic novels adapted from Shakespeare, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and TwitterHe is the host of the podcast Comic Cuts The Panel Show


Saturday, 8 January 2022

4 new colouring books in 4 days!

I've got off to a busy start, publishing not one, not two, not three, but four new Colouring Books!


Each of these new books features a Top 20 rundown of brand new images, and I'm experimenting to see which categories will turn out to be popular. The 1980s Pop Superstars Book follows in the wake of my currently most popular 1980s Pop book

RomComTop20Coversemail.jpg

The Rom Com Colouring Book is a new direction for me, doing movies rather than music. Let's see if a) Rom Com fans are also colouring fans, and b) whether I've chosen the actual most popular Top 20 romcoms (I fear the inclusion of Gregorys Girl might be more for me than anyone else!). I'm hoping this might sell well in the run up to Valentine's Day



The two books that are still processing and should be on sale shortly are the Top 20 Christmas Movies colouring book, and the Top 20 Scottish Pop Stars colouring book. 


These were produced in, essentially, a day each. The 80s Superstars was done over the weekend of Jan 1-3, then Xmas Movies on Tues 4th, Rom Com on Weds 5th, and Scottish Pop on Fri 7th. Scottish Pop is the only one with short text articles to go with the pictures, the others just having a title image on the facing page. Obviously this makes the books a lot quicker to produce, as does having 20 images (as opposed to the 34 in the Punk and Eurovision books, and the 45 in the 1980s and 1970s books). We'll see, over the next few weeks, whether this turns out to be a smart judgement or a misjudgement. Do people want quantity in their colouring books? Do they want the text as much as they want the pictures? Do Rom Coms and Xmas Movies cross over with colouring?

So far it's too early to say, as none of these books has had time to register a sale yet. And my sales in the first week of January have been way lower than they were in December. Currently the score, Jan 1 to 7, is:

Eurovision - 10
80s Pop - 8
60s Pop - 2
Punk - 2
70s Pop (old) - 1
90s Pop - 1
70s Pop (new) - 0
2020s Pop - 0

So, let's see how the new books compare. The game is on.


Buy the books:


Pop Star Colouring Annual with 50 images from 70s to now

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who, and graphic novels adapted from Shakespeare, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and TwitterHe is the host of the podcast Comic Cuts The Panel Show
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